D.C.-based alternative lodging service WhyHotel expanded to the West Coast with a new office in San Francisco.
The company operates pop-up hotels in new luxury apartment complexes. With this expansion, WhyHotel launched a new strategic business unit called Hospitality Living to work out of the new office. The unit will be dedicated to building high-rise urban developments, the company said in a news release.
This announcement comes after WhyHotel closed a $10 million Series A funding round in December 2018, where it said it would use the funds to expand to more markets. The new business unit will be led by SVP of Acquisitions and Development Will Hu who is charged with bringing WhyHotel’s pop-up model into the newly-constructed buildings permanently. WhyHotel has also hired two more executives including Miguel Oliveira as CMO and Rohit Anand as experience visioneer.
“The launch of Hospitality Living will allow us to focus on the next phase of our company, the evolution of buildings into truly flexible assets, Jason Fudin, CEO of WhyHotel, said in a statement. “These high-rise projects will be built from the ground up and designed, entitled, and constructed to flex between uses, continuing to blur the lines between hospitality, home, work, and play.”
Hu joins the team after working for San Francisco-based developer Prado Group. He has expertise in hotel, retail and office investment and development. Oliveira joins with 22 years of experience in digital, marketing, strategy and operations. He previously ran the global digital commerce and marketing team at Wyndham Hotels & Resorts. Anand has 28 years of experience collaborating with retail developers and in his new role, he will focus on designing the experiences and spaces for Hospitality Living assets, the company said in the news release.
This expansion is WhyHotel’s first satellite office. Once the high-rises are built, the company will welcome long-term and short-term guests. WhyHotel said it hopes to have its first Hospitality Living high-rise on the market by 2022.
Along with this expansion, WhyHotel has also added VP of People Experience Heather Schwager and VP of East Coast Operations, Logan Gaskill. Nathan Raymond was promoted to VP of real estate and partnerships after working as a director of real estate and partnerships since August 2017. Jason Kamen was promoted to VP of West Coast operations after working as a director of real estate and partnerships for the company. Kamen has already been working remotely on the West Coast and will join the newly hired team at the San Francisco office, Shayla Ridore, a PR rep for WhyHotel told Technical.ly.
The alternative lodging startup continues to show much progress after we coined it a 2019 realLIST company, coming in at the #2 spot. WhyHotel launched in 2017 and broke into D.C. with short-term rentals out of a complex at 100 K St. NE in NoMa last year. The company also expanded its reach into Northern Virginia with three new pop-up hotels at The Boro, Centro Arlington and Ballston Quarter.
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